Since its introduction in 2013, Honda’s CB500X has been quite the success. On paper, to die-hard ADV types, the spec doesn’t promise much. It’s an adapted road bike, this latest version producing just 47hp and weighing 199kg while suspension travel has always been modest, yet it’s found a considerable level of acceptance in the adventure marketplace. It may not challenge the extreme-ADV capabilities of say a KTM 690, but there’s a level of functionality and rock-solid reliability that makes it a great adventure travel bike. The aftermarket – and we’re thinking of the likes of Rally Raid Products here – has further enhanced the CB500X’s reputation and capability through the development of off-road wire wheel sets, suspension and protection upgrades that have made it a virtual go-anywhere bike. Want to cross the Simpson Desert – yeah, this bike has done that!
Certainly, Honda has responded to owner behaviour, and successive updates since 2013 have added to the CB500X’s off-road capability. This latest update sees a major change to the front end, with the conventional 41mm forks of previous models making way for a set of upside-down forks by Showa, again 41mm diameter but featuring Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) tech – where the spring function resides in one fork leg, the damping functions in the other. The new fork legs are clamped of course by new triple clamps. Travel is 135mm, matched by an equal length travel from the rear shock, which has five-stage preload adjustment and a new spring rate and damping settings to match the forks. The swingarm has been lightened while its degree of flex – lateral and rotational – have been modified.
The single 310mm front disc has made way for a pair of 296mm wave-pattern discs with dual-piston Nissin calipers for enhanced braking performance with a reduced requirement for lever pressure.
We’re still talking cast aluminium 19” and 17” wheels, but now with a new design featuring slimmer spokes they are lighter. Tyre sizes are 110/80-19 and 160/60-17. Note that while the frame is unchanged, clearly the change to the forks and swingarm has recast the weight balance, so front/rear weight bias has shifted forward by 0.7% (48.7/51.3).
REVISED FUEL INJECTION
The engine remains unchanged for 2022, but Honda has revised its PGM-FI fuel injection settings, to ‘improve torque feel and character’.
As ever, Honda creates a slick set of quality bodywork. The fairing features a (two) height adjustable screen (+/-35mm). Headlight is by LED, while – like the CRFs – the front indicators remain lit for additional visibility. Instruments are LCD, with a gear position indicator and a ‘shift up’ light. The CB500X is known for its excellent frugality and with a 17.5l fuel tank Honda says it has a range of 485km. Oh and weight – despite the weight savings to the wheels and swingarm the CB500X has gain a couple of kilos…
Well, nice updates for sure. The, er, die-hard ADV in us would like to see wire spoke wheels to finish off the adventure credentials, but we’ll not overly snivel on about that. It’s still a great bike and when we read the stories of what people have done to theirs and where they have travelled, we can see this bike gives a great deal of pleasure to a lot of riders and whether it’s a first dip into ADV or a downsize for an aging rider it’s doing sterling work.
2022 HONDA CB500X
Liquid-cooled, parallel twin
Bore and stroke
67mm x 66.8mm
Max. Power Output
35kW @ 8,600rpm
43Nm @ 6,500rpm
L-urban 74dB L-wot 76.7dB
PGM FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity
17.5L (inc reserve)
CO2 Emissions WMTC
Fuel Consumption (WMTC)
3.6L/100km / 27.8km/l (WMTC mode)
2155mm x 830mm x 1410mm (Low screen) 1445mm (High screen)
Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, pre-load adjustable
Prolink mono with 5 stage preload adjuster, steel hollow cross swingarm
Multi-spoke cast aluminium
Multi-spoke cast aluminium
Rim Size Front
19 X MT2.5
Rim Size Rear
17 X MT4.5
ABS System Type
Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial-mount two piston calipers
Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper
INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
LCD Meter with Speedometer, Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Fuel Level and Consumption Gauge, Clock, Water Temp, Gear position, Shift UP Indicator
HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System)